Loading...

Sundance 2015 Review: Christmas, Again


A perfect accompaniment to the cold Park City nights here at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival is the reflective, and ultimately heart-warming Christmas, Again.

Directed by Charles Poekel, Christmas, Again follows the sombre life of Noel (Kentucker Audley), a broken-hearted Christmas tree salesman. Recovering from a bad break-up, Noel spends his nights moping in his streetside trailer until the arrival of a colourful young woman (Hannah Gross) who helps him from his spiral of self-destruction.

Poekel's narrative shines as an intimate glimpse at post-break-up depression. Handled with a light delicacy, Poekel ignores contrived plot-devices instead shifting focus to the emotional side of his protagonist. Every reminder of Christmas chips away at Noel's ever-declining spirit and ultimately triggers continual reminders of his ex-girlfriend. This sombre tone is further encapsulated by Christmas, Again's frequent night time setting and cluttered trailer locale which adds to the initially sombre, low-key mood. Given this delicate tone, when Poekel does craft a bigger emotional moment, the impact is stirring - most notably showcased when we see Noel return to his car and break down after delivering a tree to a happy family.

There are plenty of light-hearted comic moments capturing the occasional frustration of life working on a Christmas tree stand, which add some well-pitched moments of delicate humour to the proceedings. However the main joy of Christmas, Again comes when it adopts a real heart-warming quality when we see the disillusioned Noel bond with Gross's Lydia and gradually transition from his sombre ways. There is a real cathartic joy in watching the Christmas tree salesman engage with life again - making for magnificently charming viewing.

A gentle leading turn from Kentucker Audley engages throughout - whether capturing Noel's sadness (and subsequent frustration with those around him), or his more charming, uplifted state - the actor is a delight to watch in a role that feels reserved, but is undeniably emotionally open. Cinematography from Sean Price Williams furthers this sense of intimacy - lightly observing the tale with an non-prying eye. Shooting the project on film (as opposed to digital) gives Christmas, Again a timeless feel and an undeniable sense of warming nostalgia perfect for the calm, charming character of Poekel's feature.

Christmas, Again is a hugely rewarding watch. Intimate and low-key in tone, but rich in character and charm, Poekel's film is a real delight.

Sundance 2015 241396076494971527
Home item

ADS


Culture Fix (CF) Content


Ads


Follow Us


Like Us


Track of the Week


Album of the Week

CF Instagram

Blog Archive

Connect on Google+